Gingerbread Latte Cake


Dec 21

Gingerbread Latte Cake – Gingerbread cake layers with a latte frosting, salted caramel and toffee bits.

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Santa Monica Days

There’s a restaurant in Santa Monica I used to frequent with my mom on our “girls’ days” called Cafe Montana. The food was always delicious, but the one thing I looked forward to more than anything was the molasses cookie. It was heavenly. The flavor of the ginger and the molasses was perfectly balanced. The cookie itself was rolled in coarse sugar and had a chewy center texture with an ever-so-slightly crispy edge. It was perfect. The best molasses cookie I’ve ever tasted (and I’ve had my fair share).

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Gingerbread Cake


I love using flavors from other desserts as inspiration for cakes, so it was a no-brainer for me to come up with a cake to mimic one of my favorite cookies. The cake recipe is an adaption from a Tessa Huff recipe. I’ve made several of her cakes over the years and have never been disappointed. The first time I made her recipe, I followed her recipe exactly. It’s actually advice I always give new bakers. When learning to bake, I think it’s important to follow recipes exactly the first time so you know how the author wanted the recipe to taste. And then, in round two, three and four, you can start to make changes, but you’ll always have a baseline to compare your versions with. 

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Latte Frosting

I don’t know what it is, but the first flavor I think to pair with gingerbread is coffee. I don’t actually drink coffee, but I love the flavor in baked goods and the smell of the coffee beans at the grocery store is one of life’s simple pleasures. If you don’t love the flavor of coffee, there are so many other flavor options to pair with gingerbread: lemon, white chocolate, caramel, chocolate.

Gingerbread Latte Cake #cakebycourtney #gingerbreadlattecake #gingerbreadcake #lattefrosting #coffeefrosting #easycakerecipe
If you do go with a coffee flavored frosting, you can use regular coffee granules, decaf granules, or even coffee extract.

Gingerbread Latte Cake #cakebycourtney #gingerbreadlattecake #gingerbreadcake #lattefrosting #coffeefrosting #easycakerecipe

Video Tutorial

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!

Gingerbread Latte Cake

Yield 1 3-layer, 6-inch cake

Gingerbread cake layers with a latte frosting, salted caramel and toffee bits.

 

Ingredients

For the Gingerbread Cake (recipe adapted from Tessa Huff)

  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature

For the Latte Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, slightly cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules* 
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Generous pinch of salt

For the Salted Caramel

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Garnish

  • Hershey's Toffee Bits

Instructions

For the Gingerbread Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch pans with nonstick spray, line the bottoms with parchment and spray again. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add in the brown sugar and cream together on medium speed for another minute.
  5. On medium-low, gradually add in the eggs and molasses until incorporated.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  7. Once mixed, evenly divide all of the batter into the prepared pans (about 15 to 16 ounces in each pan).
  8. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, checking around 20 minutes. When you insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, a few moist crumbs should come out on it. Remember, the cake continues to bake for 5 minutes as it cools in the pans. 
  9. Cool on a wire rack before de-panning.

For the Latte Frosting

  1. Dissolve the instant coffee granules in the water. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter on medium-high for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Turn the mixer to medium and gradually add in the coffee (or coffee flavoring) and the vanilla and beat for another two minutes.
  4. On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and salt. Once the everything is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  5. Remember to mix the frosting by hand with a wooden spoon or large spatula to push out the air to create a silky-smooth frosting.

*I use the decaf instant coffee in individual packets.  You can also use imitation coffee flavoring, and omit the water.

For the Salted Caramel

  1. Mix sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring the water and sugar mixture to boil over medium heat, but DO NOT STIR. (Stirring encourages crystallization). Let the mixture cook until it caramelizes into a golden brown color. It happens quickly, so keep an eye on it.
  3. Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from the heat and slowly mix in the cream. Pour in just a tiny bit at a time, especially at the beginning, and mix to combine. You can start adding more and more as you go along.
  4. Mix in salt and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  5. Let cool completely before pouring on top of the cake.

Assembly

  1. After leveling each cake layer with a cake leveler or serrated knife, place the first cake layer (top side up) on a cake board. Spread about 3/4 cup of the frosting evenly over the cake layer, followed by a drizzle of the salted caramel and handful of the toffee bits. Repeat this step for the second cake layer, and then place the final cake layer (top side down) on top of the filling. 
  2. Apply a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. This coat of frosting does not need to look pretty, it's simply to lock in the crumbs so they don't get into the final coat of frosting. Freeze the cake for 10 minutes. 
  3. After the crumb coat is set, continue to frost and decorate the cake with the remaining frosting, caramel and toffee bits.

7 thoughts on “Gingerbread Latte Cake

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  1. Hi Courtney!

    Thanks so much for the recipe. Thinking of making it for the holidays. Just a quick question – is the cake more dense or light and fluffy? Looks quite dense from the pictures so thought I’d ask! I usually go for lighter and fluffier cakes but this looks lovely too.